Governor Marks Successful Legislative Session Bill Signing Ceremonies
Governor Doug Ducey today ceremonially signed five bills that passed the Arizona Legislature this session with bipartisan support.
The legislation will:
- Help Arizonans in need of grief services;
- Provide greater access to personalized medicine;
- Increase cancer awareness;
- Develop veteran housing; and
- Cut rural electricity costs.
“Among the 387 bills we signed into law this session, this legislation will have an impact on the lives of Arizonans,” said Governor Ducey. “Ranging from grief services to veteran housing, these bills will support people battling deadly diseases, reduce bureaucracy and increase access to transitional housing for our veterans. I’m grateful for the community members, business leaders and elected officials who supported these bills.”
The governor marked the signing of these bills in ceremonies at the Arizona Capitol.
Senate Bill 1163
The governor signed S.B. 1163 which will help Arizonans get the care they need sooner. Sponsored by Sen. Nancy Barto, the legislation opens more options for Arizonans battling heartbreaking, terminal diseases.
“Personalized medicine is the future,” said Sen. Barto. “I’m proud that our state led on ‘Right to Try’, and we will lead again getting bureaucracy out of the way to best serve Arizonans. This legislation gives hope to those battling terrible diseases. Thank you to Governor Ducey for his support on this common-sense legislation.”
The legislation builds on “Right to Try” – a historic, national policy that was developed in Arizona at the Goldwater Institute. The policy ensures that individuals with terminal illnesses are able to seek out investigational medication when their approved treatment options have been exhausted.
As medication research has advanced, scientists have developed new, individualized medications which weren’t included in the original Right to Try. Today’s legislation applies the same principles to personalized medications going through FDA trials, biological products and devices.
House Bill 2208
Further taking action to help keep more Arizonans healthy and support critical nonprofit organizations, the governor signed H.B. 2208. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Kelli Butler, establishes ovarian cancer awareness license plates that anyone can put on their vehicle. Of the annual $25 fee to have the plate, $17 will be donated to the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition.
“Too many women die of undetected ovarian cancer. It’s important to remind women to get checked early to stop this deadly disease,” said Rep. Butler. “This legislation will save lives by providing funding to support women and increase early detection. Many thanks to Governor Ducey for his help in raising awareness for ovarian cancer prevention and treatment.”
It’s estimated that this year alone, over 19,000 cases of ovarian cancer will be diagnosed, and over 12,000 women will lose their lives because of this horrible disease. The five-year survival rate is over 93 percent when ovarian cancer is diagnosed and treated in its earliest stages, yet only 20 percent of all cases are found early.
With the support of the newly created license plate fund, the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition is working to help support women managing this disease and promote early detection.
For those who lose a loved one, grief can be overwhelming. The governor signed H.B. 2686, sponsored by Rep. Frank Carroll, to establish a special license plate of remembrance that allows Arizonans to pay tribute to a loved one and supports nonprofits that help those in need.
“This legislation is for a very good cause,” said Rep. Carroll. “Grief can strike us at any time and it’s important to have community resources that help us heal. Billy’s Place accomplishes that, creating a support system for children and families on their grief journey. Thank you to Governor Ducey for always supporting Arizona’s families.”
The fund set up by the special license plates will support one of Arizona’s many inspiring nonprofit organizations. Of the annual $25 fee to have the plate, $17 will be donated to Billy’s Place. The nonprofit helps children and families cope with the death of a parent or sibling. In 2019, they served more than 1,300 kids, young adults and families in Arizona.
The governor also took action to support veterans as they transition out of active duty military status. H.B. 2664, sponsored by Rep. Kevin Payne, creates the Military and Transitional Housing Fund, to help develop transitional housing for military members preparing to leave the armed services.
“We must make sure our veterans don’t fall through the cracks,” said Rep. Payne. “The transition to civilian life can be difficult, especially for our veterans who have been injured or suffer from PTSD. This bill provides additional resources for these heroes so they have a safe roof over their heads. Thank you to Governor Ducey for his leadership on ensuring Arizona is the best place for our veterans to live and thrive.”
The new housing will be developed in partnership with veteran-owned and operated organizations – creating more job opportunities for these patriots.
The governor also signed H.B. 2232, sponsored by Rep. Gail Griffin, which eliminates a double assessment on rural electric cooperative members.
The bill updates the formula assessment on each regulated entity’s gross intrastate revenues, which had grown outdated. Rural electric cooperatives had been getting assessed twice – once through their generation cooperative which were also required to pay the assessment. This double assessment resulted in customers paying twice on the electrons used to power their home.
“Our state’s electric cooperatives provide reliable and affordable power to our communities,” said Rep. Griffin. “Today’s bill signing modernizes assessment formulas so these cooperatives and their customers aren’t double charged. Thanks to Governor Ducey for supporting this important legislation.”